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Why do so many landlords self-manage their properties?

22 January 2020

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Majority of property owners are hardworking people who genuinely want to provide a good home for their tenants while earning reasonable returns. To achieve these goals, a lot of landlords are turning to self-management. So why do so many choose doing it themselves?

Cost savings

One of the main reasons landlords choose to self-manage their properties is the cost savings. Outsourcing property management is costly. You can easily spend 7-10% of your weekly rent on agent's fees. So doing it yourself will save you a lot of money. Period. The savings can quickly add up and contribute to your ultimate financial goals. This cost savings can be especially appealing to landlords with multiple rental properties.

For example, a landlord with a property that rents for $1,000 per month and a property management fee of 8% would save $80 per month or $960 per year by self-managing. This can add up to a significant amount over time, adn the money can be used it to invest in the property or other assets.

Gaining control

Self-management gives a landlord more control not only over their properties but their tenants. It allows you to be in the centre of things. You will always know what's happening with your property and what requires your attention. When you hire a property management company, you're giving up some control over your property and how it's managed. But when you self-manage, you have the final say on everything from tenant selection to repairs and maintenance. This allows landlords to make decisions that align with their personal values and goals for their properties. You can never care too much. Taking the DIY route will allow you to keep a closer eye on your properties.

Previous bad experience with a property manager

A lot of landlords (especially the ones still learning the ropes) choose to use a professional property manager to look after their rentals. Some eventually turn to self-management after feeling that the agent was not looking after their properties as well as they should, charging too much, or hitting them with extra fees for things like tradie calls.

Landlords who have experienced issues such as lack of communication, mismanagement, or financial mishandling may feel more comfortable taking control of their properties themselves. Self-managing allows landlords to have more direct oversight and control over how their properties are being managed, which can provide a sense of security and peace of mind. Additionally, self-managing landlords can choose to work with trusted contractors and vendors, rather than relying on those recommended by a property management company. This can give landlords more confidence in the work being done on their properties.

Better relationship with tenants

Preventative measures are often better than reactive. Establishing a good relationship with your tenants lies in the heart of successful property management. You have to be fair. You need to address any requests quickly. And you need to fix maintenance problems as soon as you can. The better you look after your tenants, the more likely they will look after your property better.

When you hire a property management company, you're often limited by their policies and procedures. But when you self-manage, you have the freedom to make decisions that best suit your property and your tenants. This allows landlords to be more responsive to tenant needs and to make changes to their properties as needed. For example, a self-managing landlord might be able to quickly approve a tenant's request for a pet or make a same-day repair for an emergency issue. This level of flexibility can be especially beneficial for landlords who want to foster a positive relationship with their tenants and provide a high level of customer service.

It's important to remember that a good working relationship can be achieved only if you select the right tenants for your property. Selection of quality tenants will result in lack of vacancy and potential Tribunal issues. Remember that it takes days to select applicants and move them in, but it may take weeks and months sometimes to move them out. So it pays to spend extra time and money advertising property properly to the biggest audience and run proper background checks on potential tenants.

Tips for landlords who are considering self-managing their rental properties:

  • Understand the legal requirements
  • Keep accurate records and stay organised
  • Being available to tenants and communicate effectively
  • Regular property inspections
  • Have a plan in place for emergency repairs and maintenance

Are you thinking of taking a DIY route?

Don't get overwhelmed. Self-managing doesn't need to be hard as long as you have a professional property management system in place to keep track of rent, maintenance, inspections. Take baby steps, ask for help. Thousands of NZ landlords are doing it, and you can do it, too.

More on:
How myRent can help you self-manage
How myRent can help you advertise your rental property

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